Why does he say he just wants to be friends but doesn’t act that way?

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  • Jessica
    May 18, 2023 at 1:04 pm #1120424

    To make a long story short, I met this guy a while ago through mutual friends. We became good friends pretty quickly and then he asked me out, so we ended up in a “situationship” for around two months. Going into it he had told me he had just gotten out of a long relationship, and I had insisted he process that before anything. Long story short, he ended things by saying he actually wasn’t over his ex which somewhat hurt but we both wanted to be friends so that’s what we’ve continued as. He said the timing wasn’t right. Now I’d say we’re really close friends, but recently in the past few months he’s come off as pretty flirty. Normally I wouldn’t care but other people have started pointing it out to me. I decided to talk to him just to see and he got really defensive, saying he wasn’t flirting and that he didn’t mean to and he strictly wants to be friends. He didn’t offer any sort of explanation but got pretty upset. I know he’s still processing that breakup from before and I totally get that takes time, I just wanted to know if there was any possibility at all some time in the future for my own peace of mind. I told him he needed to stop being flirty and spending so much time together if he just wants to be friends, but he was defensive and claimed there’s no problem. I figured maybe he’d explain he’s working through his breakup still, or maybe he’d say he values the friendship too much, etc, but he never offered an explanation and his actions towards me really hasn’t changed. I’m afraid that either he thinks I just want to be friends (I never said what I wanted just asked if he meant to be flirty) or that he’s only gonna keep me as close friend until he eventually finds someone to date. I’m just confused why he’d say that he wants to be friends and not really act that way.

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    Avatar photo
    May 18, 2023 at 2:14 pm #1120427

    He sounds like someone who would enjoy the benefits of a situationship with you. He’d get all the fun of a relationship without actually having to commit to you or make any effort. Don’t wait around for this guy, LW. You may feel really close to him, but he doesn’t sounds like a friend at all. You can take as much space as you want/need from him. If he’s not interested in dating you, that’s okay — it’s not a reflection on your value.

    FWIW, my sister ended up in a pretty similar situation with a guy who became her best friend. The big difference is that they met online, but the other details are similar (he wasn’t over his ex, so they decided to be friends). The lines of their friendship were always blurry. Five years passed this way. Then they went on a trip together and on the drive home, he told my sister he’d started seeing someone else and was going to pursue it more seriously, and wasn’t this trip a nice way to say goodbye to their friendship as it existed. She was devastated. He wanted to stay friends — and she actually tried to do that — but that (probably obviously) didn’t work well. He’s still with that other woman a year and a half later. Anyway, don’t be my sister. Her ex-faux beau was an asshole for sure, but she could’ve protected her heart better. She still refuses to block or delete him from social media.

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    peggy
    May 18, 2023 at 3:11 pm #1120429

    When a man tells you he just wants friendship or is not ready for a relationship, believe him.
    Sadly, this can be code for ” I don’t want a relationship with YOU”. IMO, more often than not, a male/female friendship has one person wanting/hoping for more. Not always, but often. You did not say if you wish he wanted a relationship, but if you want a committed romance with him, that will not happen. I would just move on from anything but the most casual connection.

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    Jessica
    May 18, 2023 at 3:15 pm #1120431

    Yea I figured this much, thanks for the reply. I’m not even really interested in dating him, not right now at least, but I’d just like things to be totally platonic if that’s all he says he wants. I consider him a close friend but I don’t think as close as he sees me- I have a few girl friends I know I will always be much closer to than any guy which I think was sort of surprising to him when we originally met. Your sisters experience is basically what I fear but somewhat expect, so I’ll try to distance myself as much as possible. That’s why I tried setting boundaries as much and as soon as possible, but I guess that’s all I can really do besides not being friends at all.

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    Avatar photo
    May 18, 2023 at 3:19 pm #1120432

    He likes flirting with you but doesn’t want a relationship with you. Don’t bother trying to figure out why; it’s not a reflection on you at all. But he’s going to continue behaving this way so if you don’t like it, you should probably stop bring his friend.

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    Avatar photo
    May 18, 2023 at 3:50 pm #1120435

    You’d have to have zero boundaries to become my sister! It does sound like you’re holding out hope for the future with this guy, which I’d caution against.

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    Jessica
    May 18, 2023 at 4:22 pm #1120437

    Yea, you’re right. I don’t think there’s a future with him quite honestly, I just wish I had gotten some sort of closure or explanation. I would like to be friends but I definitely understand how it may just be inevitable that it won’t work, just is disappointing.

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    Anonymousse
    May 18, 2023 at 6:19 pm #1120445

    Never try to be friends with guys you really have feelings for, and wish something would happen with. It will just end up hurting longer.

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    Avatar photo
    May 18, 2023 at 6:40 pm #1120446

    He’s probably being flirty with you in the hopes that he can continue some kind of NSA relationship, but I don’t think the “why” really matters. This is a guy who has already hurt your feelings by getting involved with you before he was sufficiently over his ex, and now continues to send you mixed signals — even after a conversation about it — without regard for what you might be feeling.

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Why does he say he just wants to be friends but doesn’t act that way?

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